Hi all, Alex here back again for a second day running.
So it happened. A draw with the bastards of bastardry. Anyone who has followed Arsenal these last 15 years will know that Chelsea, Tottenham and Stoke are an irrelevance when it comes to football rivalry. Man Utd are the real enemy.
So many years of pain playing them when they were, frankly too good. The abiding memory was the defeat to end our unbeaten run or as it’s also known ‘the most rigged game in the history of the premier league’. It finished Reyes’s career with us, triggered the start of Arsenal’s ‘top 4 years’ and ensured Mike Riley – to this day – still gets called a wanker by any Arsenal fan that sees his stupid gimpy face. How he was ever allowed to referee again after that game is a
Much like that game, United needed dodgy refereeing decisions and a blatant Rooney dive to win last night. Except this time they were playing Preston North End. An indicator of how far they have fallen despite the talent in their squad.
However to say we have a hoodoo against them would be a massive understatement. In the last two seasons when they have been nothing less than absolute pony, we have still failed to rack up a win or even a half decent performance. This is a failure I lay at Arsene’s door and is one of the main reasons why I don’t think he can cut it at the top anymore.
For years Fergie knew the gameplan to beat Arsenal. Sit back, let them prance around for a bit then destroy them on the counter. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. It’s what led to our humiliation in the Champions League semi final in 2008. And it was so ingrained in the United players’ psyches that even after the red nosed one left, they were still able to put it into effect with startling ease.
The fact Arsene never thought or wanted to counteract this tactic is one of his biggest failings and is why we have consistently failed to win against big teams.
This season might be different however. We have beaten City away, using a different, smarter gameplan. We have the best squad we have had in 10 years littered with match winning superstars. This could be our year.
So let’s look forward to this cup tie and imagine that we are finally going to overcome our United hoodoo and best them at Old Trafford. We will see Robin get subbed off on 55 mins, Wayne crying into Rafael’s shoulder and Rio Ferdinand tweet some utter pish about baseball caps for men going through midlife crises.
I have seen the promised land. And Darren Fletcher doesn’t live there.
You can follow me on Twitter @aldo_doel